Forecourt Trader of the Year Applegreen, which won the award for its M1 Lisburn motorway services in Northern Ireland last week, has applied for planning permission for its first motorway services in England.
The planning application is for a site at junction 33 of the M1 at Rotherham, and proposes a development split across sites on either side of the motorway with car and coach facilities on the south side linked to HGV facilities on the north by an underpass.
Applegreen revealed its interest in the site in March when it launched a consultation with residents, and this caused Sheffield Council to delay a decision on proposals from Extra for services at junction 35.
Applegreen and Extra both say this stretch of the M1 does not meet Department for Transport guidelines that there should be no more than 28 miles between motorway service areas.
Applegreen says its development would create 300 full-time jobs and would provide parking for 454 cars, 67 lorries, 14 coaches and 18 caravans. The site already has planning permission for two hotels and a petrol filling station.
Speaking after Applegreen’s Northern Irish site won the Forecourt Trader of the Year award, Applegreen UK managing director John Diviney said: “It’s a sign of what’s to come for Applegreen in the UK. This is a start. The UK consumer will be able to get used to facilities like this on the roadside.”
Extra CEO Andrew Long insisted junction 35 was the only suitable site for a service station. He added: “We welcome the fact that the application has been submitted and that the junction 33 proposal can now can be subject to the same degree of rigour and scrutiny as the Extra application at junction 35.
“Extra remains fully committed to obtaining planning permission and successfully delivering a motorway service area at junction 35, along with the associated strategic benefits package for the surrounding 200-plus acres of existing and new woodland, economic, social and environmental benefits.”
Applegreen has also held a consultation with the local community about proposals for services on the M42 near Shirley in the West Midlands, and has approached local authorities in Hampshire about a site on the M3.